Climate Leadership Continues in the European Union
The European Union might be going through a lot of financial turmoil at the moment, however they are still leading the way when it comes to environmental policy. Their carbon targets have consistently been higher than any other country in the world and they have also actually met and exceeded them.
At the Durban Climate Summit last year, the EU environment ministers were noted for their progressive and constructive role they played in coming up with a new international agreement.
The EU strategy has always been to lead with vision and to generate economic and environmental benefits. Since the EU has set binding emissions and renewable energy targets, many countries have followed suit. The carbon pricing cap-and-trade scheme was introduced in the EU and now New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea and most importantly, China have followed suit.
More recently, the EU set a cap on carbon emissions for all airlines. The decision to include airlines in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) has been met with vehement opposition from China, Russia, and the US. In the grand scheme of things, the fees associated with the scheme are quite modest: only increaseincrease of around €4 to the price of a long haul ticket. If opposing countries were to impose levies or ground European flights, it would not only affect the European economy but it would damage their own economies as well.
EU from Space image via Shuttestock